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The 2 Features You Wish Your New Subaru Had But Doesn’t

I have talked to many Subaru owners, and there is a common theme among Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, and Outback owners. They wish their cars had two features. Can you guess what they are?

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek, Forester, and Outback are great vehicles, but they lack two features that owners wish they had. I own a Subaru Crosstrek, Outback, and WRX, and none have a heated steering wheel. Only some Outback trims have it, but why not more?

Heated steering wheel

Subaru sells a significant number of its all-wheel-drive vehicles in cold-weather mountain Pacific and Northeast states. It’s the Japanese automaker’s home turf. So why don’t they offer a heated steering wheel on more models and trim levels? That's a good question. 

What Subaru models have a heated steering wheel?

A 360-degree heated steering wheel is standard on the 2024 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition, Onyx Edition XT, and Wilderness trim. The previous year, this feature was only offered on higher trim levels. 

The top-level trim for the Forester is the Touring, the only trim with a heated steering wheel. The Crosstrek Hybrid had a heated steering wheel, but it’s been discontinued. 

Head up Display 

I have talked to many customers who want a head-up display (HUD) system that projects information onto the windshield. What was once exclusively available in luxury vehicles and head-up displays now come standard on some mainstream brand cars. Hyundai, Mazda, and Toyota offer head-up displays.

It's a great convenience feature and offers another level of safety for drivers to keep their eyes on the road. So far, Subaru has yet to provide any new model with HUD, and the 2025 Forester won't come with it either.

Why is a head-up display a critical feature?

A head-up display is more than a luxury feature. It's a needed safety feature because it allows the driver to keep both eyes on the road by directly putting essential information in the driver's sight. Many automakers like Mazda and Hyundai now offer a head-up display on lower trims, and you don't have to buy a luxury car. It's the one feature Subaru should offer on all its SUVs.

Unfortunately, Subaru doesn't offer a HUD on any vehicle in its lineup. The sixth-generation 2025 Subaru Forester compact SUV won't have a head-up display either.

What Do You Think?

Do you think Subaru Corporation should add a heated steering wheel and HUD display on more vehicles? Click the red Add New Comment link below and join the discussion.

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this Subaru story. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru Report.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

photo credit: Subaru


Les (not verified)    May 27, 2024 - 8:38AM

My wife’s 21 Outback Touring XT has a heated steering wheel. Some Subaru pencil pusher who obviously doesn’t live in a cold climate area decided to only heat parts of the steering wheel. What driver always keeps their in only one position when driving?

Dale Nixon (not verified)    May 27, 2024 - 9:01AM

Not a fan of the heads up display concept. I’ve driven an Audi RS-5 with it and found it distracting. Two things Subaru needs to do; the first is easy; incorporate the ability to add and save a second set of tires/wheels to the TPS monitoring system for winter wheel changeover. And also n a related note, 2) get rid of the channel behind the spokes on the stock WRX wheels that traps an inordinate amount of mud and pebbles and puts the car out of balance.

The Eagle (not verified)    May 27, 2024 - 11:11AM

I'd suggest 2 different features that my 2019 Forester Sport does not have.

1) Being in Phoenix, the heated steering wheel is of no use. I'd like A/C seats.
2) A louder blinker or a blinker "on" warning after a set amount of time. It's way too quiet. I had a blinker reminder (much like the seat belt warning) on an old Pontiac that worked well.

Lisa (not verified)    May 27, 2024 - 12:56PM

I have a 2020 Forester Limited that has a heated steering wheel. In fact, that was the one thing I requested when I was looking at them. I absolutely love having that feature!!!

Jacques Lamont (not verified)    May 27, 2024 - 7:13PM

Just bought a 2024 Crosstrek, love it so far, the one feature I wish it had was an automatic open/close rear lift gate. I know it’s available on the Outback.

Buster (not verified)    May 28, 2024 - 12:22AM

My Forester has a heated steering wheel.
The heads up display has always seemed like a gimmick to me. Even so, the dash screen is basically this.

Sharon D'Amico (not verified)    May 28, 2024 - 6:09AM

Crosstrek and foresters need:
1. Driver's seats that raise higher for short drivers.
2. Heated steering wheels
3. HUD

Cal Bear (not verified)    May 28, 2024 - 12:56PM

OT: Rewire or program garage door switch with ignition switch in on position. If doors are unlocked, switch can be activated to open garage door.

Diamond Dave (not verified)    May 28, 2024 - 2:43PM

The display in my new 2024 Outback is masterfully designed, highly visible and presents the exact info I need without moving my eyes far from the road, so IMHO the Outback doesn't need a Head Up Display. And I do love HUDs where they ARE needed. I modded and added an HUD to my previous RAV4 because the speedometer was 1) analog and 2) hard to read. Also I recently rented a BMW 40i ($150k!) which had a HUD but wastefully showed the same info in 3 different places.

Trace (not verified)    May 28, 2024 - 8:16PM

I think the Crosstreks need a trunk rear end lift/shut and they need to revert back to adjustable headrest that adjust forward and backwards. The new Crosstrek headrest that stay in the same place are extremely uncomfortable.

Ivette Garate (not verified)    May 29, 2024 - 12:10PM

I purchased a 2023 Subaru Crosstrek Limited that had heated steering wheel but what the dealer deliver to me was a different car without that feature among others. I was in desperate need of a car so I had to take it. For me, I need an automatic closure of the back door. None of the Crosstrek have it and I have great difficulty closing it because I am so short. I also would love to have a lumbar support seat but that is also something they don't do on the Crosstrek. No doubt that I will not buy another one.

Damien (not verified)    May 31, 2024 - 1:17AM

I have a 2023 OB touring XT…obviously I love all of Subaru’s safety features now with the 3rd eyesight camera. I would trade in my 2023 for one with a built in “dash cam”. Subaru has a think tank who listen to suggestions from their owners.

Everett (not verified)    June 2, 2024 - 1:59PM

Yes, I think Subaru should have these features available. Case in point, these features add more value to the vehicle and second, Subaru can outsource both of them from their business partner, Toyota or maybe even Lexus.

John (not verified)    June 4, 2024 - 5:31PM

Automatic wipers. I rented in Europe in 2003 a low-end subcompact Renault that had automatic wipers. How is it that a high-end Outback in 2022 still doesn't have them?